Writing an argumentative essay: the use of meta-discursive didactic sequences to improve students' skills
Zaure Umirzakova– Leysan Akhmetova – Natalya Saenko – Natalia Barakhanova
The study purpose is to explore how the application of a meta-discursive didactic sequence organizes and schematizes the development and writing of an argumentative essay. In the course of the study, a corpus of argumentative essays (90 works) written in English by 4th-year students of technical specialties of the Technical Institute (branch) of the North-Eastern Federal University named after M.K. Amosov (n = 45), Moscow Polytechnic University (n = 45) and the University of International Business (Almaty, the Republic of Kazakhstan) (n = 45) was considered. The observation lasted 13 weeks and consisted of three stages. According to the research results, 71.1% of students from the Technical Institute (branch) of NEFU correctly used the essay superstructure, 57.7% – macrostructure, and 42.2% – microstructure. It was found that the learning strategies focused on the meta-discursive approach are better developed among bilingual students. At the same time, monolingual students from Moscow Polytechnic University showed the following results: 28.8% – mastered the superstructure of writing an argumentative essay, 35.5% – macrostructure, and 46.6% – microstructure. Further research will be aimed at separating these categories and a step-by-step analysis of the process of argumentative essay writing following a meta-discursive sequence. The study limitations were manifested in the bilingualism of one category of students and the monolingualism of the other, which significantly affects the outcome of the data obtained.
Key words: argumentation, bilingualism, foreign language, macrostructure of an argumentative essay